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Books and Documents

Islamic Culture

Shah Abdul Latif:  The Voice of Love
Sadia Dehlvi

The young poet fell in love with the daughter of Mirza Mughal Beg, a proud scion of the Afghan rulers. Although Shah’s family happened to draw their lineage from the family of Prophet Muhammad, there was a difference in the social status of the families. The ruling family was aristocratic, while the Shahs came from a family of mystics. In 1713, robbers assassinated Mughal Beg and decamped with all his riches. Reduced to poverty, the Mirza family eventually agreed to give their daughter in marriage to Shah, who had by then gained fame as a poet…..

 

The 10 Best Pakistani Political/Social Parody Songs … Ever!
Nadeem F. Paracha

Aziz Mian was the wild man of Pakistani Quawwali. Long-haired, almost always sloshed on his favourite brand of whisky, and punctuating his Quawwalis with sudden spoken-word interludes that he would shout out as if he was having an argument with God and the conservative clergy. Though the Sabri Brothers too came from the same Sufi-music background as Aziz Mian, they were more subdued and harmonious in their approach towards their music.....

 

Dhaka: The Enduring City
Milia Ali

Beneath Dhaka's unattractive façade lies a compassionate soul. The city and its people have a great ability to accept and adapt. From a quaint town of the '70s it has transformed into a bustling city -- reinventing itself to accommodate the rapid changes. But, despite all its urbanisation Dhaka still retains touches of its rustic self… The other day I was shopping in Gulshan 2. A hawker sitting with his basket of Dhaka cheese offered me a big chunk. When I told him I had no cash left on me he said: “Aapa, please take it, you can pay me tomorrow....

 

Iran has already tried to block Western music and movies and social media. But they cannot block them successfully. These technological influences are even more powerful and more effective and corrosive than the invasion of Western fast food. No radar system and no Internet block and no diet can possibly protect Iran from the real secret weapons of the West. It just won’t work. Freedom cannot be blocked. Here’s to a year free of fear and filled with freedom.....

 

There Is No Single Islamic Culture
Mohamad Jebra

What most converts to Islam seem to miss is that Islam is a spiritual and religious system, it is not an alternative to one’s cultural and national identity. In fact, wherever you go in the world you will find a unique and harmonious merging of Islamic and local values. Sub-Saharan Africa has a unique Islamic culture, which greatly differs from Chinese Muslim culture, which, likewise, greatly varies from Balkan Islamic culture…..

The ‘Evil’ In Our Textbooks
Madiha Afzal

Our penchant for conspiracy theories also falls into place. We are taught that Muslims were victimised before Partition. The British conspired with the Hindus and the Congress to do so. One of the reasons given for “the fall of East Pakistan” is “international conspiracies”, with players as diverse as Russia, India and America conspiring against us. Little wonder, then, that we have an unhealthy sense of national paranoia….

 

The ‘Swinging Seventies’ In Pakistan: An Urban History
Nadeem F. Paracha

The shrine culture, pertaining to the devotional, recreational, and economic activity around the shrines of ancient Muslim saints, had been around in the subcontinent for almost a thousand years. The saints’ Islam was more accommodating than dogmatic, and a largely permissive culture of ecstatic devotional music, innovative rituals and indigenous intoxicants started to take shape around the shrines, mostly involving poor farmers, the dispossessed, (and later,) the urban lumpen proletariat....

 

My Name Is Pakistan and I’m Not an Arab
Nadeem F. Paracha

The point is, instead of assimilating the finer points of the diverse religious and ethnic cultures that our history is made of and synthesise them to form a more convincing and grounded nationalism and cultural identity, we have decided to reject our diverse and pluralistic past and instead adopt cultural dimensions of a people who, ironically, still consider non-Arabs like Pakistanis as second-class Muslims....

 
Religion and Rituals
Dilnawaz Qamar

Practices of rites and rituals without changing lives confine the religion to the precincts of a mosque, a church, a temple or holy place. Religion is practical that changes one inside out, not only a set of actions performed daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. It is our choice to become either an ignorant dummy or one seeking the will of God....

 

The Truth behind ‘Arabisation’ Of Pakistani Culture
Aasim Sajjad Akhtar

‘Arabisation’ not only flies in the face of the more liberal and fluid cultural practices that have prevailed in this region since antiquity, but also more damningly is the primary impetus behind the militant Jihadi upsurge. I largely agree with this perspective, although such general hypotheses necessarily oversimplify social reality....

Timbuktu Libraries in Exile
Community – Seattle, Washington, United States

In 2012, under threat from fundamentalist rebels, a team of archivists, librarians, and couriers evacuated an irreplaceable trove of manuscripts from Timbuktu at great personal risk. The manuscripts have been saved from immediate destruction, but the danger is not over. A massive archival effort is needed to protect this immense global heritage from loss....

 

The Islamisation of a Culture
Rana Allam

I do not want to imagine what kind of culture this minister will enforce in our cinemas, books, music, arts and cultural centres! These, along with their censorship committee, are under the leadership of the Islamist Alaa Abdel Aziz. But will they be able to censor Egyptian youth?...

 
Connecting Minds — Creating the Future
Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Connecting Minds — Creating the Future
Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

More than 1,200 years ago, while Europe was in its Dark Ages, the Muslim world was ruled by a dynasty of Islamic leaders who embraced free thought and creativity from all corners of the globe. Never before had history witnessed such cultural openness and symbiosis as during the reign of the Abbasid Caliphs. They built the world’s first university, named it Bayt Al Hikma (House of Wisdom) and filled its library with the finest cultural, scientific and literary creations known to mankind....

 

Muslim women do need liberating — not from Islam — from their indigenous cultural practices, often conflated with Islam. Muslims must not be reticent; they need to bear the responsibility for the liberation of Muslim women and ensure that they are not deprived of the rights granted to them by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) more than 1,400 years ago....

Child Marriage in Islam: A Myth?
Dr Wan Azhar Wan Ahmad

In Islam, this is the true position of a girl achieving puberty or the age of proper understanding when it comes to marriage. The religion basically prescribes that a child ceases to be a minor upon her first menstruation, regardless of age. Once approached with a marriage proposal, she has the option to accept or reject it. Her consent is a necessary prerequisite for a valid marital contract. Her guardian enjoys no liberty to force her to accept any proposal if she is unwilling....

At least, this was the case until the new religious leaders decided to redefine what Egypt's national culture is. The political victory of the Salafist movements and the Muslim Brotherhood after the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak reawakened the Salafists' desire for a cultural revolution that would match their views. The question of whether dance - and ballet, in particular - is permissible from a religious perspective is not a new issue....

 

Filmistan: Here and There
Waseem Altaf

Indian films are screened in more than 90 countries of the world whereas Pakistani films have almost no access to international market. While there are dozens of cinema houses in Delhi, Islamabad is the only capital city in the world where there is not even one single cinema hall. At present most of our film studios are in ruins and a sizable number of cinema houses lay demolished. Today Indian films are tough contenders for International film awards and.....

They scorched the stages of Algeria and Tunis, in Casablanca and Baghdad, and also in Berlin and Paris. With bobbed hair − a daring style for the time − a thin cigarette in a holder between their fingers, they were among the leaders of the musical and cultural scene in their countries and even became international stars. They are the great Jewish female musicians and singers who were active in North Africa and the Middle East in the mid-20th century...

 

Ignoring the Stereotypes of Expats, Saudis
Sabria S. Jawhar

The Saudi pushed aside women to retrieve his bags from the belt, and then demanded loudly that the porter come immediately. For many foreigners, it was probably their first impression of Saudi Arabia as they entered the country. In another instance, my husband recalled waiting to make a transaction at a Western Union office when a Saudi woman entered the office full of expats, grabbed her maid by the hair and pulled her out of line and literally threw her into the car....

 

“We, the students of Dacca University, who initiated the language movement in East Pakistan three years ago (and) who are now more determined than ever to secure for Bangla the status of state language of Pakistan, will take this opportunity, while you are assembled at Karachi, to press once more our legitimate claim . . . We refuse to believe that any language under heaven can be Islamic or Christian or heathen....

In ancient Egypt only high priests and anointed pharaohs were allowed into the temple precincts. The common folk followed their own religious practices, based on what they heard went on behind the temple, inside the temple walls, together with the knowledge that they were allowed or expected to acquire....

 

Ghalib's Poetry Reflects the Spirit behind Free and Open Source Software (SOFF) Movement
Mirza Ghalib

Open source programme creators cater to the highest standards and give away their work for free, much like Ghalib who wrote not just for money but the discerning reader Mirza Ghalib, the great poet of 19th century Delhi and one of the greatest poets in history, would have liked the idea of Open Source software. ....

As the conflict in Mali intensifies, it is not just the country’s traditional mausoleums and ancient manuscript collections that may be under threat of loss or destruction. The publication of a further appeal for the protection of Mali’s cultural heritage by UNESCO, the UN’s cultural agency, on 14 January has drawn renewed attention to the threat that the armed conflict in the country now represents for its cultural heritage.....

 

Celebrations of the Prophet’s Muhammad’s birthday are purely cultural for most – the holiday is not Islamic per se. The holiday is contested by some as being “un-Islamic” since orthodox religious establishments do not recognise the holiday religiously and say Islam does not require celebrations of any kind on the Prophet’s birthday, unlike the Eid holidays. Nevertheless, in Egypt, the celebrations are usually colourful and sometimes garish....

Thoufeek Zakriya is an Indian Muslim from the city of Cochin who does calligraphy in a number of languages, including Arabic, Samaritan, Syriac and Sanskrit. More interestingly, he is a Muslim who does masterful Hebrew calligraphy. While studying in madrasa, he learned that the Jewish people were considered by Islam to be ahl al-kitab (“People of the Book”), which sparked a curiosity in him to learn more about this religious community.

 


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  • Dear Danish, In your last remark to Sultan Shahin Sahab, you said, among other things: "the way of understanding the quran is very unauthentic based on merely ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Naseer Ahmed Sb:Out of a hundred or so articles and a number of key refutations of Fatwa that NAI has posted for me over ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Naseer Ahmad Sb, In your last remark to me you have asked: "Can you explain the use of "your ulema" and "your women folk"? My ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Usage of the word Alim In the Qur’an In Qur’anic discourse, mankind is divinely blessed (15:29, 32:9, 38:72) –he is appointed God’s deputy (khalifah) on ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • Dear Danish, Your remark to Sultan Shahin Sahab that "your 'exegete' (Muhammad Yunus) does not know except for abusing Muslim community and ulema. the ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • very good translation by NEW AGE ISLAM. '...
    ( By Asif JNU )
  • मजहब बदलने से अच्छा है की कोई मजहब ही नहीं होता है. मजहब पे राजनीति करने वाले की ऐसी तैसी हो जाती. इंसानियत पे जीने ...
    ( By Bushra )
  • सब्र करने वाले अल्लाह के नेक बन्दे होते हैं. अल्लाह हमारे लिऎ सबकुछ देता है जो हमें चहिए होता हैं. आज के समय में ...
    ( By Bushra )
  • Verse 4:34 is not connected with the divorce process. The verse covers the process for resolving serious domestic conflict. The next verse talks about arbitration.... ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Please Correct yourself Mr sultan, Alim means scientist. But it is not necessary to mean the one who knows only physical science. When quran uses ...
    ( By Danish )
  • mr sultan shahin you are favorite of muhammad yunus and he is for you. he is for you. your "exegete" does not know execpt ...
    ( By Danish )
  • the word "Alim" in the Quran actually refers to scientists, indicating the high importance afforded by the Quran to the physical sciences.[2] This is in ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • Dear Mr. Danish, before making personal comments against someone, particularly and erudite Quran exegete like Muhammad Yunus Saheb, you should at least try to get ...
    ( By Sultan Shahin )
  • सत्ता में आने के बाद सरकारी सदनों में सरकारी खजाने का बड़ी रकम का इस्तेमाल पानी में बहा देते हैं. हर दिन पार्टी और ज़शन ...
    ( By Bushra )
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    ( By Sowbhagya G )
  • भारतीय मुसलमान को अल्पसंख्यक नहीं जा सकता है. यहाँ हर समुदाय लोग रहते है लेकिन मुसलमान काफी पिछे रह गया. मुस्लिम आज भी कॉंग्रेस को ...
    ( By Bushra )
  • I agree with the divorce procedure described with a small difference in detail which however is huge in its impact and can save many marriages. ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Approximately all of these scholars are classical and many of them are also academics. They have left greater impact ....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • Not only in East Africa but also in India, Muslims are allowed to practice their religious duties peacefully an....
    ( By Ghulam Ghaus غلام غوث )
  • You are right Mr Naseer, from the so-far articles Of Mr. Muhammad Yunus, what i have noticed that he always ....
    ( By DANISH )
  • I am a regular visitor of this website. All the topics covered by Moin Qazi are very much informative and explained in context ...
    ( By Dr Imranali Khan )
  • How about ISIS classify heaps of other Muslims sect and tribe as not Muslim and killing them, so if India classified lots of tribes ...
    ( By Aayina )
  • Mashaallah very well explained. Normally the muslim community just believe that once the triple talaq is pronounced it is declared as talaq... this implies their ...
    ( By Gazala Ahmed )
  • A good article that looks at the issue of radicalization from the journalistic and historical perspective. However, it skips the following fault-lines that conduce to ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • "The secret to Indians’ success in America" . . . . . The vital importance of quality education is again clearly underlined.
    ( By Ghulam Mohiyuddin )
  • It is reassuring to note that some 300 Sufi sect leaders from various East African countries are calling for creating a counter-narrative against terrorism and ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • The religious scholars and academics from across the Muslim world have done a commendable job by challenging different facets of ISIS's atrocities as un-Islamic or ...
    ( By muhammad yunus )
  • I wish the young scholar all success, but I also wish he had written something about the Nadva the way he would have written had ...
    ( By C M Naim )
  • फतवा के लिये कोई जगह नहीं होना चहिए मुस्लिम समुदाय में. मुस्लिम समुदाय और मुस्लिम महिलाओं पर फतवा देने वाले लोग होते कौन है. फतवा ...
    ( By Bushra )
  • excellent explaination m with deep insight in various fiqa and hadis '
    ( By humera ahmed )
  • We have to come out of the medieval mindset. Even if prescribed by the Holy Books, the archaic and irrational practices must be abandoned. The ...
    ( By Ashok Sharma )
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    ( By Abdul Rashid )
  • It should read deglamorizing
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • Most lucid explanation about issue of triple tallaq, I ever found in any book. If it is practiced as per writ in quran (not as ...
    ( By hamid quraishi )
  • Article glamorizing the concept of Khilafat: The Caliphate Dream:
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )
  • काफी समय से जिंदा रहने वाले आतंकवाद कभी ख़त्म होने का नाम नहीं ले रहा है. कुल मिलाकर हर जगहों पे फैल रहा है. आतंकवादियों ...
    ( By Bushra )
  • May I say something in this debate between New Age Islam and conventional Islam?--- 1. Any civilisation progresses over a period of time accepting new thought ...
    ( By Vilas Khandare )
  • "People’s actions reflect the psychological impulse or factor that leads them to act. To engage in the task of dawah, you need to have the ...
    ( By Naseer Ahmed )